NaNoWriMo founder, Chris Baty, said about the very first NaNoWriMo in 1999 “We had taken the cloistered, agonized novel-writing process and transformed it into something that was half literary marathon and half block party.” (No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty)
It’s been a busy year. I self-published five books. I survived the Brea/LaHabra earthquake and nine WiFi outages. I attended several conferences, seminars, and writing retreats. Took German lessons. I travelled to Colorado, Alaska, and the Caribbean. In beat sheets and strange settings, I transported back to 1924 and forward to a shattered future. Knitted a zillion caps and socks.
I mention all that to explain why I have only the foggiest idea what I’ll be doing for November’s 2014 NaNoWriMo. As a full-throttle control freak, I’ve come up with the following “Everything is Jake” Plan for NaNo:
1. Fill the freezer with baked salmon and empanadas and the fridge with bags of lettuce and chopped veggies. Boil eggs. Ensure I have enough Seville Orange marmalade for a month of daily crumpets.
2. Stock up on printer paper, writing pads, Pilot G2 07 pens, and trash bags.
3. Put story ideas in a bowl and pick one. Dash off some cryptic notes. (You know what I mean. Thoughts about premise, characters, names of characters, setting, first line, defining moment, psychological state of two main characters at the beginning and ultimate transformation of both at the end, slang used in 1924 California, and a couple of details about the call for King Wilhem’s abdication in 1908).
I wrote my first NaNo novel in 2006. Eight years later, I have written 50,000 words (and more) every November and facilitated a cohort of like-minded fanatics. I like having travel companions for shared griping, celebrating, and friendly competition to spur us each to glory. As Chris Baty (founder of NaNoWriMo in 1999 and author of No Plot? No Problem!) wrote:
“Combine a deadline with a supportive community, and great stuff will happen every time.”
50,000 words in 30 days. For these 30 days, I’ll send out a few words of encouragement and the current tally of words for each member. It’s almost a rule that you start November 1st with a fresh idea, a token stab at a few characters, and the barest outline possible. See the website and/or Baty’s book for more information.
Who would like to join me? I guarantee a rollercoaster experience. For the mighty ones who finish? A virtual ticker tape parade.
Please let me know by October 25.